How-To Geek

The Best Free Ways to Share Photos With Friends and Family Other Than Facebook


Now that the holidays are over, you probably have a lot of photos taken of family and friends. Want easy ways to share those photos? Facebook is a popular option for photo sharing, but what if your family and friends are not on Facebook?

We’ve collected additional free options, other than Facebook, for posting your holiday photos for family and friends to enjoy.


You’ve got access to everything on your SkyDrive, your personal cloud, wherever you are. Your photos, documents, and other important files are available to you on your phone, tablet, PC, or Mac. In short, your stuff and your info isn’t limited to any single PC or device.

And, if you’re on Windows 8, and signed into a Microsoft account, you can view all your photos and files, edit and share Office documents, or share with whomever you choose. Plus, stuff like your background, your display, and your settings roam with you.

If you want to automatically sync your files across your computers, install the free desktop app on them — including Windows 8, Windows 7, or Vista, and Mac OS X Lion computers.

You’ll be able to access your photos and files from almost anywhere, store them, and easily share them. You can also try SkyDrive on the go with the SkyDrive mobile app.



Add friends and family to see what they’re sharing (and share a few things back). You can search your email contacts to quickly find people you know on Google+. Or find people from your high school, college, work or hometown to swap stories with.

Circles make it easy to share the right things with the right people, just like in real life. Now you can share some things with close friends, others with your family, and almost nothing with your boss.

It’s easy to see what the people in any circle are sharing. So you can catch up on news from close friends before reading about what your second cousin had for breakfast. Never miss a post, picture, or link with circles.

Whether it’s restaurant directions on Google Maps, photos of family and friends, or an entertaining YouTube video, circles make sharing easy no matter what you’re doing.


Picasa Web Albums

Looking for a simple way to get photos from your camera and computer on the web? Google’s Picasa Web Albums provides 1GB of free storage that makes sharing your photos a snap.


Google’s Picasa software lets you organize, edit, and upload your photos in quick, easy steps.


Google Drive

Google Drive is everywhere you are — on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just…there. Ready to go, ready to share.

Get started with 5 GB of free space. Upgrade to 25 GB for less than $2.50 a month, and you can store practically everything for next to nothing.

Google Drive is available for the PC and Mac, Chrome OS, iPhone and iPad, and Android devices.



Flickr is the best way to store, sort, search and share your photos online. Flickr helps you organize that huge mass of photos you have and offers a way for you and your friends and family to tell stories about them.

There will always be a free version of Flickr. It will be limited in some ways, and you get more with a paid subscription, but it’s still fun! You can upgrade to a Flickr Pro account, for just $24.95 per year (or less for a 2 year subscription).



Instagram is a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures. Snap a photo with your mobile phone, then choose a filter to transform the image into a memory to keep around forever. They’re building Instagram to allow you to experience moments in your friends’ lives through pictures as they happen. They imagine a world more connected through photos.


Shutterfly Share

With Shutterfly Share sites, you can create a free photo-sharing website in minutes. Use your Share site to privately (or publicly) share photos with friends and family, a sports team, classroom, co-workers, membership, or any group. As with any Shutterfly product, you can customize your website with exclusive designs and layouts specific to your tastes. With your new Share site, you are not limited to just sharing photos; share messages and updates, add videos, calendars, polls, team rosters, forums and more. Get started today.



Photobucket Stories transforms the act of photo sharing into the art of storytelling. Now you can collaborate with friends & family, and bring all your photos, videos and words together to tell a complete Story.

Share your photos, videos and Stories with everyone, a small group or keep them to yourself — you’re always in control of who sees what.

Bring your memories to life with their online photo editor. With easy photo effects, filters and editing tools, adding a professional touch has never been so simple.

You’ll never have to worry about photo backup again. It’s easy to sync your photos and videos from your computer, mobile devices and Facebook to Photobucket.



DropShots is made for everyone. It was designed to be simple and easy to use, suitable for any level of computer user (even grandma!) – NOT the feature overload and complexity of other services designed for the technically inclined. It’s all about interaction – DropShots is a destination for families to connect and converse about the joys of life captured on photos and videos – NOT just a place facilitating the one-way event of sending or posting pictures for others to view. DropShots is thrilled to be your trusted resource for connecting with those you care about and sharing your important memories and life experiences.



PhotoRocket galleries are the simplest way for you and your friends to share the photos you took together, all in one place.

PhotoRocket Galleries allow you to share unlimited, high-resolution photos just the way you want. Carefully curate a photo collage, or enjoy the utility of free cloud storage for all your scattered pictures; create a group Gallery that your friends can add photos to, or share your photos with just one friend! No matter how you share, they make photo sharing fast, easy and limitlessly fun. Once created, share your Gallery with email contacts, Facebook friends or post links to your favorite social sites.

PhotoRocket Galleries for the web allows you to source photos from your computer, Facebook or iPhoto so that none of your photos get left behind. Once you create your Gallery, you may select from various themes and layouts to give your friends and photos the best viewing experience on the web.

The free PhotoRocket app for Windows, Mac and iPhone lets you quickly share photos from any source on your computer or mobile device.



DeviantART was created to entertain, inspire, and empower the artist in all of us. Founded in August 2000, deviantART is the largest online social network for artists and art enthusiasts with over 25 million registered members, attracting 65 million unique visitors per month.

As a community destination, deviantART is a platform that allows emerging and established artists to exhibit, promote, and share their works within a peer community dedicated to the arts. The site’s vibrant social network environment receives over 160,000 daily uploads of original art works ranging from traditional media, such as painting and sculpture, to digital art, pixel art, films and anime.

Users get unlimited uploads with a 30 MB limit per image for all account types.

deviantart is a place where you can host all your images. They do not censor them. They believe in freedom of speech, it’s of utter importance to them. As long as your pictures are legal they will be hosted on, but they reserve the right to remove images due to technical reasons though.

You can upload about 140 different formats. There’s even support for .RAR and .ZIP-archives. If you upload an archive with multiple images, you’ll also get a web address for the album and all the pictures inside of it.

If you need to store other types of files online, try the new Bayfiles file storage service, which provides a 5 GB maximum file size for everyone.



Tinypic is a fast, simple and reliable video and image hosting site that you can use to share your experiences. There is no registration or log-in required, simply submit your picture or video. That makes it the perfect site for linking to, eBay, Orkut scrapbooks, message boards, forums, blogs, journals, e-mail, IM, and other websites.

Best of all: it’s FREE!

How it works is you upload your video or image and they provide you with a simple URL (e.g. that is guaranteed to be unique. It will point to your, and only your, video or image. You can then copy and paste the link that they provide to share your pictures on your favorite sites all without having to upload your image or video all over again. That’s it.



ImageShack is an easy-to-use media hosting service, that was launched November 2003. In July 2007, they opened our first office in Los Gatos, CA. Today, they employ 15 extremely talented and dedicated individuals who make their mission statement a priority. At ImageShack, they provide quality products associated with sharing photos.

ImageShack owns two other products, Yfrog and Yfrog Social. Yfrog Social, launched in August of 2012, is an online social network designed to help you connect to your friends in a meaningful way. The key elements of the network is that it is private, simple and personal. The network allows users to organize their connections into groups, making content relevant because users decide what they want to see. Yfrog Social is not driven by monetizing the content of its users, rather it makes a product for its users, and them only. Most current social networks sell users private data to the top bidder and fill users profiles with advertisements, Yfrog Social doesn’t. It believe a cause worth pursuing is creating an excellent product with an intent of empowering its users and putting their needs first.

ImageShack’s other product, Yfrog, is a service run by ImageShack that is designed specifically for uploading photographs and videos to Twitter. It was launched in February 2009, and allows uploads via email or a website interface.

ImageShack just launched SkyPath, October of 2012, which is an app that syncs with your ImageShack account and your iPhone’s photo library. ImageShack is dedicated to providing quality products, centered around photographs, for their users.


My Photo Gallery

My Photo Gallery is a Web-based photo gallery that also supports non-image file types. It is easy to setup and even easier to maintain. Slick-looking image galleries and thumbnails are generated on the fly from any root directory that you specify. Albums can be created using the included Web-based administration tool or by creating a directory and copying your pictures and files to that directory. A Web administration interface is available to help add descriptions, rename images, rotate images (losslessly), and more. It includes advanced features such as image logging, renaming, resizing, image rotation, smilies, and visitor comments. Unlimited file types may be recognized, and custom images for them can be displayed in your galleries, allowing you to archive MP3s, MPEGs, AVIs, etc.



Gallery is an open source web based photo album organizer. It provides an intuitive way to blend photo management seamlessly into your own website whether you’re running a small personal site or a large community site.

Gallery 3 is the newest addition to the Gallery Project’s portfolio of intuitive photo, video and audio sharing web application solutions. Upon its launch in the Fall of 2010, Gallery 3 offers more control, better uploading and enhanced performance. Its design is based on the the feedback provided by the Gallery Community of Users at large. Serving millions, Gallery is the most widely used system of its kind. Gallery 3, like its predecessors, Gallery 1 and Gallery 2, is free to download and use.


If you’ve found other, good, free ways to share photos with friends and family, let us know.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 01/5/13

Comments (12)

  1. Cambo

    Dropbox, Sugarsync. Easy.

  2. webdev84

    I’ll throw in JAlbum. Combined with some (free) server space it’s a pretty nice and flexible solution which allows a lot of customization. It’s free and even supports Mac OS.

  3. Huseyin

    Smugmug, best paid storage, period. Unlimited amount of data with 20 minutes of 1080p support and retains all originals and creates over 10 resizes to display. It is not cheap, but it works great as a complete image backup, just dump your 50GB of pictures, or use scanning service and scan your old pictures and host them there. :)

    For free services, be sure to review privacy policy, photobucket is one of those that share pretty much every personal information (Except pictures, i assume)

  4. Michael

    You could add
    10GB free storage (up to 50 by inviting friends), with 25mb per file limit

  5. harv

    One thing to be careful about is who has the copyright of the photos you upload. Some sites have nasty little clauses saying they can use your stuff however they like even with paid accounts. Read the licence agreement before you upload something you don’t want used in their advertising or worse.

  6. kimmy

    There is a typo in the Imageshack paragraph. You wrote “they opened OUR first office in Los Gatos..” should read : “THEIR office…”, because everything else in the paragraph is”they” and “their”. And, under Yfrog paragraph, it should say instead of “it BELIEVE a cause worth….” it should say either: “THEY BELIEVE..” or
    “it BELIEVES..”

    There is another typo but I forgot where it was.

  7. Dic

    The entry for ImageShack reads like a promo issued by ImageShack itself.

  8. MdKnightR

    Every time that I’ve gotten a virus from viewing photographs, it’s been on Imageshack :p

  9. john3347

    I used to get reports from recipients that, “the pictures you sent will not open” when using SkyDrive, but I have not gotten such a report in a couple of years. I assume that SkyDrive has made some minor changes that makes it friendlier with others.

    I wish that FastStone Image Viewer had the capability to send groups of photos to multiple recipients because that is FAR AND AWAY the best photo viewing software at ANY price and is free.

  10. Bucky

    I used to use Picasa, but now my favorite is Dropbox. The biggest differentiator was that your friends can’t download videos shared on Picasa

    – semi-private: allows non-registered users to access with a unique URL
    – can download full size images and videos.
    – can download entire folder with 1 zip file
    – automatically generates gallery/slideshow

  11. Louise Petterson

    I think Mejuba is the worlds best! has unlimited storage for both videos and pictures and it’s completely free. No monthly limits or quotas. You can upload a whooping 1GB PER upload! No limits on video play time either.

  12. steve caturan

    If possible, could you please consider adding to your list – we actually use Menalto Gallery 2 as our backend because it’s simple but functional and provides granular viewing permissions compared to other platforms and services. We’ve been around since 2004, sustained only by user donations. Thanks!

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